Mechanics Institute Chess Room Newsletter #327

Some consider that when I play I am excessively cautious, but it seems to me that the question may be a different one. I try to avoid chance. Those who rely on chance should play cards or roulette. Chess is something quite different.

Tigran Petrosian

Note - This is the second Newsletter this week due to the holiday season. The regular schedule will resume on Wednesday, January 10th.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News 
2) AF4C drops US Championship 
3) Appeal for the Abrahamyan Family 
4) Mike Goodall suffers heart attack 
5) Here and There 
6) Upcoming Events 

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

The Winter Tuesday Night Marathon started on January 9 with 69 entries. WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs and FM Frank Thornally head the field. It is still possible to enter the eight round event with a bye for round one.

Congratulations to Nicolas Yap who is the 2007 Falconer Award winner for the highest rated junior under 18 in Northern California. Yap just edged out Matthew Ho 2280 to 2278 on the December 2006 USCF rating list. Both players were limited in the number of tournaments they could play in 2006 due to academic responsibilities but Yap, coached for many years by IM Guillermo Rey, had a tremendous World Open over the summer that made the difference and will receive a prize equal to his rating - $2280. This annual award is made possible by the generosity of Mechanics' Trustee and Former California Open Champion Neil Falconer.

Nic Yap continued his good form at the North American Open in Las Vegas just after Christmas scoring a undefeated 4 from 7 to move up to 2295. 10-year-old Daniel Naroditsky tied for third in the blitz tournament at the NAO in a field with several GMs and IMs and improved his regular rating to 2115 but older brother Alan also did very well. He scored 5 from 7 in the Class A section going from 1864 to 1916.

2) AF4C drops US Championship

America's Foundation for Chess, which had sponsored 5 US Chess Championships since 2000 recently announced that it will no longer be involved and will confine itself to its educational activities involving chess and children.

3) Appeal for the Abrahamyan Family

Mick Bighamian writes:

With great sadness, we were informed of unexpected passing away of Razmik Abrahamyan, 52-year-old father of our local chess prodigy, Tatev Abrahamyan. He encountered a severe stroke in Las Vegas last week, while accompanying her daughter at the North American Open Tournament. His unexpected departure was a major shock to the family members as well as the chess community.

I first met Razmik as he brought Tatev to the LA Masters for the first time over a year ago. A very pleasant man, whose love for Tatev, and great dedication to the game of chess, was clearly evident as he would wait for hours for her to finish each tournament. A task he took upon himself in every tournament of hers; health permitting.

As you are aware, Tatev, 18, is on one of the most talented students of a great coach (IM Armen Ambartsoumian, AAA Club) and the youngest top rated US woman's chess player. Among her many accomplishments are:

Tied for the 2005 U.S. Women's Chess Championship - came in 2nd in the nation in playoffs
Won the 2006 Pan American Championship for Girls Under 20
Holds the Woman International Master (WIM) title and is rated 2220 by FIDE
Represented the US in the 2006 World Junior Championship - while making her first WGM norm
Unfortunately, Razmik's untimely passing away has left the family in dire financial situation; to the extent that they are even struggling with the financial burden of funeral services preparation.
As such, LA Chess Club is hereby begging you, our selfless players, parents and coaches, to come forward and share a small token of your treasure with this family.
May you and your family be blessed this and every year for your generous contribution.
And what better way to start the New Year by lessening the tremendous grief of a truly good family.

You may send your contributions directly to:
The Abrahamyan Family
123 W. Chevy Chase Drive, #4
Glandale, CA 91204
Or contact
Armen Ambartsoumian @ (818) 640-5974 or
Nshan Keshishian @ (323) 578-8424

4) Mike Goodall suffers heart attack

International Arbiter and longtime Mechanics' Institute member Mike Goodall suffered a heart attack on Tuesday. Goodall, who was in a serious car accident last summer, is recovering from his latest setback and vows to be back at the club soon.

5) Here and There

FM Stephen Jones has announced his candidacy for the USCF Executive Board. The Los Angeles master, rated 2355, has been a USCF member for over 40 years and is a practicing attorney.

The AF4C ran 4 US Championships as 64 player, 9 round, Swisses. Can you name what player had the best overall record in them? Hint it isn't Gata Kamsky, Alex Onishuk or Hikaru Nakamura ( each of whom did not play in all four events). The answer is GM Alex Stripunsky who scored a very impressive +2, +3, +5 and +4.

GMs Jaan Ehlvest and Sergey Kudrin shared first with IM Fabiano Caruna and Kazim Gulamali in the Eastern Open held over the Christmas holidays with scores of 6 from 8. Among those tied for fifth at 5 1/2 were 5-9- GM Alexander Ivanov, GM Alexander Stripunsky and IM Stanislav Smetankin. Michael Atkins directed assisted by David Mehler.

6) Upcoming Events

Mechanics' Events

Bob Burger Open - January 20
Henry Gross Memorial - February 10
A.J. Fink Amateur - March 3 and 4
Max Wilkerson Open - March 24

Feb 17, 18 19 President's Day FIDE Open OK GP # 1 Stillwater
*80 USCF GP Points* *$11,000 Prize Fund Guaranteed *2007 OCF GP #1 *7-SS*, G/120+10 sec, Holiday Inn 2515 W. 6th Ave (Hwy-51) Stillwater, OK 1-405-372-0800. HR: 60-60-60. EF: $40 if postmarked and PAID before Feb 14, $50 at door. Free EF for FIDE rated players, Reg: Sat 8-10AM. Rds: Sat 12-5, Sun 10-2:30-7, Mon 9-1:15. *$$G 11,000 *will not be lowered. $$G $900, $800, $700, $600, $500, $400, $100 $$G 600 each class A,B,C,D & below. Unr competes in D & below. $100 Okla under age 16. Women's Prizes**: $1,000, 900, 800, 700, 600, 500; $10 OCF required from all players, 2 byes rds 1-5; Free Parking, Ent: Frank Berry, 402 S. Willis, Stillwater, OK 74074 NC, CMV, LS, W, USCF, FIDE. Note: Women FIDE players contact for free lodging arrangements at hotel and $500 appearance fees. Transportation for all available from and to Tulsa > airport to Stillwater Friday before and Monday/Tuesday afterward.

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